From: "Mike Smith"
Subject: My first run with my RK Drum BBQ Roaster
First off, I'm in no way connected to the production or manufacture of this
fine product. Although, I wish I were. What follows is a description of my experience
setting up for my first roast with my RK Drum, that I received...yesterday.
Upon opening the well packed box, I was impressed with the heft, and build
quality of this all stainless drum. Anyone that has worked with stainless steel, knows what
a bear it is to work with. All of the cuts are clean, no burrs, and all of the welds have
been ground and smoothed. A very well executed construction. The height of the stirring
vanes kind of surprised me. All of the other drum designs I had seen, as on my Alp, the
vanes were a fraction of an inch tall. On this drum they are at least a full inch high.
They stir a large load 2 pounds or more very well. For the grill, I purchased a I was having to look into the bottom of the grill from underneath to see the
burner so that I could adjust it down as low as possible to maintain 435, and still have a
flame. At 10 minutes first crack started and I could tell by how " all at once " it was, that
second was going to follow very rapidly. I was right, by 11 minutes I was into one heck of a rolling second crack. I cut the heat, grabbed the spit, and dumped and cooled the beans.
I had sort of mélange roast, with most of the beans a very full city, with
slight oil showing, and some french, with about 10 % city. I had observed
the good mixing action of the vanes, and knew that this unevenness was not
due to poor bean movement. I surmised that it was a result of too rapid of a
bean temp rise.
I decided to load up a larger batch. I loaded up 1 and 1/2 pounds of La Manita, and started again.
This time the temp recovery after drum insertion was much slower. I think that the larger load
actually made the temp more stable, and a lot less ticklish. This time first crack started at about 14 minutes, and started much more gradually. Second crack followed after a
little added heat at 17:30 and I pulled the roast immediately upon onset of second. I usually like LM right before second.
Anyhow, this roast was MUCH more even, and easier to control. I really like a more mellow taste,
hopefully this won't be TOO mellow.
I am thoroughly pleased with the drum, and it will make my roasting much less involved than 6 or 7 Alpenrost roasts a week. I think I will look at putting a cast iron griddle in the bottom of my grill, to more evenly distribute the heat and flame, and to act as sort a thermal mass. I think that a load of about 1 pound is as small a roast as a beginner BBQ roaster should try. That
1/2 pound roast was just too hard to control. The larger batch tracked along a profile almost
exactly like my Alpenrost.
The drum is by far the best investment in my roasting that I have ever made, and I am grateful
for such a quality product. The drum is easily worth the price of an Alpenrost.This thing is built as well as anything I've ever seen. I have fabricated a few gadgets in my life, as I have been a
homebrewer. It is much like coffee roasting in that you have to build everything
if you want a nice setup without spending thousands.
To replace my BBQ roaster would cost $6000 for a San Francisco sample roaster, and the end result is every bit as tasty. Until someone decides to sell a computer controlled, commercial style drum roaster for under $2000, I've got THE best setup out there for us that don't like being tied to 3 hours of 8 oz roasts once a week.
flyin' hillbilly BBQ RK Drum roaster
just a satisfied customer
This is a note to let you know I have been having great success with my drum. Thanks for the effort you put into its design and construction.
Shane, got the roaster up and running this past weekend, did a burn in and
two batches on Sunday (1 pound and 2 pound) and then had to hurry off to
other things. Last night i put the the roaster to work and roasted 15
pounds in about 2.5 hours! however i had to take about 20 minutes to make
some adjustments to the rotisserie rod, it must have been off center because
it was clicking pretty loudly. the largest batch i did was 3 pounds, wow i
am loving this thing already, and once i bump it up to 4 pounds things will
move much quicker. give me a few weeks of using this and i will write a
complete review you can share with others, i went to bed last night feeling
great that i had roasted a weeks worth of orders in a little over 2 hours,
and the coffee was packaged, labeled and ready to go to the store, and i
don't have to think about it until next week. Thanks for a great product
and excellent support.
I owe you a big thankyou for your advice Shane! That drum is really starting to work for me. Some time in the future I will have to send you a documented time and temperature profile on what is working for me with that srum. One of the bigger hurdles is the barbeque. It doesn't regulate it's heat very well but I have put a bank of 4 thermometers on the front of my barbeque that I use to moniter the heat. This helps me keep an even roast along the full length of that long drum. Your suggestion of preheating the barbeque to 600 has really helped, I also am preheating the drum a little. What really has helped is the times that you projected for me. When I followed those times I started learning when the second crack was happening. this has made the difference. -Jason
We've just received our roaster.... THANX .... very impressive service and
product!!!!!!!! will recommend you anytime!!